INDIAN RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT
On March 8, 2006, the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement was issued. At the time, it was the largest class action settlement in Canadian legal history, it was negotiated by several different parties representing Indigenous organizations, religious orders, Indian Residential School Survivors, and the federal government.
The Settlement includes the following main components:
- Common Experience Payment (CEP): amount of money to be paid to all former students who attended a recognized Indian Residential School (IRS):
- $10,000 to each eligible Survivor who resided at an IRS for one, or part thereof, a school year;
- $3,000 to each eligible Survivor who resided at an IRS for each school year, or part thereof, after the first school year;
- Deadline for CEP applications: September 19, 2011; and
- Deadline for CEP applications from individuals with disabilities, undue hardship and exceptional circumstances (including written reasons for delay): September 19, 2012.
- Independent Assessment Process (IAP): extra-judicial process to resolve claims of sexual assault, physical assaults, serious psychological abuse, and any other wrongful acts, committed by an employee of the government, church personnel, or by another student, experienced by a former student of a recognized Indian Residential Schools. This process is overseen by the Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat (IRSAS):
- The maximum payment is $275,000
- An additional $250,000 may be awarded for claims of income loss
- Deadline for IAP applications: September 19, 2012
- Aboriginal Healing Foundation (AHF): established in 1998 to create, reinforce, and sustain conditions that promote healing, reconciliation, and self-determination. The AHF encouraged and supported Indigenous peoples and communities in building and reinforcing sustainable healing processes that address the legacy of the Indian Residential School system, including physical, sexual, mental, cultural, and spiritual abuses and intergenerational impacts.
In March 2010, the federal government announced that funding for the AHF would not be renewed. It is predicted that the AHF will shut down completely in March 2014. The AHF received funding in the amount of $350 million dollars in 1998.
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC): established to contribute to truth, healing and reconciliation. The TRC shall complete its work within a five-year timeframe, which includes:
- Establish a National Research Centre to allow access to former students, their families and communities, the general public, researchers and educators to historical materials.
- Fund and host seven national events in different regions across Canada.
- Fund and attend several community events designed by communities who are affected by the IRS system.
- Coordinate the collection of individual statements by written, electronic, or other appropriate means.
- Hold a closing ceremony at the end of its mandate to recognize the significance of all events over the five-year mandate of the TRC.
- Commemoration: assist in honouring, educating, remembering, memorializing, and paying tribute to former students, their families and communities, by acknowledging their experiences and the impacts of the Indian Residential School system. The Commemoration process may include the creation of, or improvements to existing, permanent memorials and commemorative structures, or ceremonies or other projects.
Funds in the amount of $20 million dollars have been provided for Commemoration projects and events.